Young composer comes to Greencastle

Saturday, February 19, 2011

GREENCASTLE---- From March 2-6, award-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis will visit Greencastle and participate in concerts at DePauw, as well as get to know the area.

Kernis won the 2002 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition and is one of the youngest composers to ever be awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Some of his most decorated works include "Colored Field," "Air" and his String Quartet No. 2. He plans to have a mostly full schedule with the DePauw University students and the orchestra and chamber choirs.

Kernis has been interested in orchestral music since he was young, when he listened to recordings, learned to play violin and piano and eventually became interested in composition. He has held the position of Composer-in-Residence for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the New Music Advisor to the Minnesota Orchestra in the past. Kernis currently teachers as the Director of the Minnesota Orchestra's Composer Institute and at Yale School of Music as a composition teacher.

Kernis said he is excited to come to the university and was happy to be invited to what he believes to be an excellent program.

"I'm very curious to see the school and see what they're learning," Kernis said.

Though his schedule is still mostly undetermined, Kernis will participate in chamber and orchestral rehearsals on Wednesday, March 2 and Thursday, March 3, and on Friday, March 4, he will be part of a "Meet the Composer" session led by DePauw's Dr. Scott Spiegelberg at 11:30 a.m. Kernis' entire trip is part of the "Music of the 21st Century" event that DePauw is hosting, which will be closed by a Friday recital at 7:30 p.m. and a Sunday, March 6 closing concert at 3 p.m. The orchestra and choirs will be playing some of Kernis' music in the performances.

Kernis said he is looking forward to visiting Indiana and experiencing a part of the country that he rarely sees. On Saturday, which for the most part is his free day, he is considering visiting Indianapolis and learning more about the area in general.

"Saturday is the free day, provided by weather," Kernis said. "I haven't been to Indianapolis."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: